View Full Version : Biology w/ A700

04-07-2008, 09:41 PM
Yes ... you can do your Biology Lab homework with a DSLR.

Tonight, after a couple weeks of waiting, I got a chance to use my microscope adapter with the SONY α700.

The lab assignment was to run a set of microscope slides displaying various types of plant structure.

So ... here is the entire set of slide samples. Who knows, maybe someone else taking BIO 101 can make use of these images, too. Sure beats eyeballing and drawing this stuff. :(

ROOT TIP @ 100x

Monocot Root X-section @ 100x

Dicot Root X-section @ 100x

Monocot Herbaceous Stem X-section (HDR) @ 100x

Dicot Herbaceous Stem X-section @ 40x

Woody Stem X-section @ 100x (HDR)

Dicor Leaf X-section @ 400x (HDR)

Leaf Epidermous @ 40x (HDR)

Of course, the class was impressed ... my lab partner was overjoyed at not having to draw the damn things ... and I was captivated with the possibilities of this type photography - a big switch from your standard lenses. Just stick the snorkel tip down the ocular tube, focus, adjust for timed exposure and fire away. The first shots were kind of okay ... but, the lighting was really off. What could I do to fix it? Then, I thought ... "What about HDR?"

These were taken with your standard school dual 23mm-ocular microscope. I would suspect having your own personal microscope might be a bit cleaner and better maintained. God only knows how many students have wrestled with this one.

I know the lighting truly was quite poor. I'll have to work on that. Like I asaid, halfway through I went with an HDR approach (1 f-stop up and down) to try and milk some more definition from the samples, because of the rather poor lighting. Sharpening also helped enormously to improve definition.

Anyway ... it was a hurried first attempt (everyone always books at night school) ... and it really does capture the intent of the imaging, I do believe.

The adapter is a "T-mount", so you can get an adapter ring for just about any camera body. The entire contraption was around 3-bills, which is a lot cheaper than a $1500 photographic microscope.

04-08-2008, 02:07 PM
160x of some blood

04-08-2008, 03:48 PM
What adapter did you use for this?

If it isn't moving ... up the exposure time. Whatever light that is available will accumulate and allow for better color and definition.


04-08-2008, 04:10 PM
One I Machined One Years Ago...that One Is At 1 Sec..the Little Buggers Like To Move Though

04-08-2008, 04:21 PM
Obviously, a good light source is key ... just like in any photography. But, again, it's a school microscope. I always find it hard to work with "common" tools. Probably why I'm broke more often than not ... quality comes at a premium.

I was perusing the microscope websites, to get a feel for the cost of these devices in today's world. They really do range in price, as one might suspect, just like cameras. A fairly decent 40-100-400-1000x dual ocular can range from $600 - $1600. You can add the tri-ocular for your camera for not that much more.


Food for thought, in case I suddenly become a clinical medical technician ... but, I couldn't withstand the cut in pay. :eek: Guess I'll just do it for fun ... not profit. Unfortunately, the boy is too old for this, to use the old "it's for eductional purposes" excuse, and you just know the wife is going to notice it ... unlike another killer lens in the bag. ;)

04-08-2008, 05:42 PM
This Is A Good Ol Wesco...not To Many Around. But It Works Great

Doesn't Have A Camera Port Though...i Just Pull Out One Of The Eyepieces

04-08-2008, 06:54 PM
This is the microscope of today, though. USB supported. :o

34808 34809


04-08-2008, 07:36 PM
You Would Think Doctors Would Actually Use One...they Are Hung Up On Tests,tests,tests

04-08-2008, 07:38 PM
Btw I Also Made A Video Adapter For My Scope...things Get Realy Big On A 42" Plasma..lol

Ray Schnoor
04-09-2008, 05:50 AM
I personally use either a dedicated microscope camera such as this:


or an adapter I have for use on a P&S. Nikon used to have threads right on the lenses for their Coolpix 990 and 995 cameras which screwed directly onto this Leitz microscope eyepiece, but it also will work on other cameras with an adapter as you see here with the Coolpix 5000.


I am unsure if Leitz still makes this eyepiece, but if you want to get adapters, they can be found in this location (http://www.microscopeworld.com/MSWorld/camera_chart.aspx) for basically any digital camera.


04-09-2008, 05:56 AM
Hey, thanks Ray, for sharing the info ... and images.

There's a much smaller world out there ... LOL :D

04-09-2008, 01:09 PM
As He Rolls Off Into The Sunset Singing.."it's A Small World After All"